Amy Barlow Liberatore… stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz

Tag Archives: Peace

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Turn the clock forward
Look toward tomorrow and tomorrow
First, let the shock set in, the sheer lack of
jetpacks, hoverboards, silver clothing
No Soylent Green, no Big Brother

Rockets long stilled by common sense
Conscience triumphed over nukes
Phallic skyscrapers are no longer the norm
Even in cities densely populated, there is
stargazing; children of the largest towns
know constellations not by book but
by sight, every night
“O Star…”

This is tomorrow
Where land’s expanse is not viewed as
Future Golf Course or Strip Mall
It is now treasured
Allowed to lay fallow for its own sake
Marshes unharshed, not tamed and smothered
by another load of concrete, nor
paved for enslavement to profit seekers

Where liquid groans of dinosaur bones
are songs sung only underground
No longer sucked by pipes and tubes to
lube mechanical mindlessness

Where all walks of conscience from faith to atheism
are neither hammer nor scythe; rather, a
measure of one’s capacity to love
and dwell in peace

Where confessional souls examine their lives
as they turn toward helping and healing
this wounded world
And war is a sorry-ass memory painted hideous
And rightly so

Where is this tomorrow?
In ours dreams, in our hearts
In the minds of children, who say,
“Of course it should be that way”

© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Many thanks to dverse Poets Pub and TED Fellow Ben Burke, whose mind-blowing “poem from the future” can be heard on the site. He invited all dverse contributors to join him and take a trip to the future, to give our own interpretations of what that might look like. I, who possess a bitter, dystopian view of that coming day, took an ironic turn and went for the hope… hope which dwells in the marrow of my soul, overtaking my sarcasm and cynical worldview.  UPDATE:   Thanks to folks at dverse for suggesting I relink to their Open Mic after I missed the Linky!

A bow to Robert Frost with a simple phrase that echoes in every corner of my dreams, “O Star…” I hope the future is Lennonesque, best viewed through circular shades, with lots of hand holding and hugs. And with that, as always, I wish you peace. Amy

Peace, the Unknown Commodity

Our world has been at war
since the eighth decade. EIGHTH

Constant bickering plus weapons
equals humans either dead or “victorious”

Where is the victory in bloody children
lying in the street next to their dead mothers?

Will it take violent protest to end war?
That would be quite ironic, but

marching hasn’t done it; even Lennon’s
music was decried as hippie drivel

All we are saying is give peace a chance
And yet the war machine goes on

A peaceful world takes LOVE and respect
A peaceful world means children go to school

A peaceful world means women are not battered
and adults are given meaningful work

In a peaceful world, the Halliburton crew
and Blackwater would have spare time.

Perhaps they could work on clean energy
and free health care for Americans instead

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

I know I wrote more about war than peace, but let’s face it, folks. As long as Stale Pale Males (emphasis on stale, as in same old crap) are large and in charge of the military/industrial complex; as long as we are dependent on fossil fuels; and, of course, as long as there are “American Interests” abroad, we will never know peace. “American Interests” is a catch phrase that does not mean people – it means Starbucks in Baghdad and McDonald’s in every nation! Beware the sound byte.

This is for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ “Blog 4 Peace” highlight. I am so proud to be a “Toad” and to take part in this wonderful cause. I’m also posting this for dverse Open Mic Tuesday.  Peace, Amy


among many
will cause peace
to flow all around us
like a mighty, majestic river of unfathomable love

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

This is my prayer for peace, as prompted by Mary at dverse Poets. Of course, I did not make the deadline, so perhaps I will submit this for dverse Open Mic Night as well as the sidebar at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads and Poets United.  And, yes, I managed a form to boot, using the word-count version of the Fibonacci Sequence (1-1-2-3-5-8).

The latest carnage in Kenya, at a mall in Nairobi, took many lives at random. And yet here in the States, gun violence continues to claim veterans, spouses, children, and people caught in the wrong place (or school) at the wrong time – also, a gun on hand means access to a fast suicide, rather than trying to reach out. The Second Amendment provided for armed militias, like the National Guard, and was conceived when one-shot muskets were the standard. I’m not against others hunting (as long as it’s for meat, not ivory), but the proliferation of high-powered rifles with huge magazines – and people with violent histories being allowed to own guns? Is Ted Nugent running for president or what? Get a grip, people. Peace, Amy

Hoo Dew

Grab the cumbersome cobalt bottle
No, the one with the floating bits
Syrup it into kettle
Stoke the smoke with oak
Scratch in cinnamon and
ground wormwood
Fresh dandelions

Stir to boiling
Simmer for days
Haze it will bring, just past
the sting of its reality,
will knock the clocks dead

We shall fast while it brews
This shit is better than booze
A ruse of peace, pleasing, but
when it wears off…

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Mama Zen at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads wanted a voodoo poem in 73 words or less.

Not familiar with the occult arts, but I tell you, I’m gonna try this recipe just for kicks! Ha ha, Amy

The WiRE Part I

Here on Roo’s Island, beneath the rot-rusted trolley bridge (unstable, but no one had actually plunged to their death in years); here at the calm elbow bend of turned benches in Rock Park, Jordan could bear life as it was, in the Now.

Her Agency shift just finished; sorting the castoff crapfeed of the rich, separating Styrofoam from oily bits of foiling and whathaveyous.  This place was her reward, her retreat, her parkit.

Although The Big Thing had laid waste to millions of people and many species of wild animals, plus many rabbles of butterflies – the heartbreak of that lay heavy – they thanked the Creator for honeybees whose hives still functioned, for bats that survived. There was still the shabblestone lane, a hazard… once smooth red brick, now jagged, tearing at her tragictrashed sneaks. Her shoes were sturdy and loyal, but they were also more duct tape than canvas.

Jordan could bear it here, imagine a bluebird perched on the blind light pole, part of the lost heaven her Gram described for her daily, like a multi-faceted mantra. “Oh, the meadow,” Tilly would sigh, her delicate parchment hands navigating tea from pot to cup. “It was all so green, until the Powers got fractious and on a flashnight, there was a lion’s roar… but what do you know of lions?” Tears in her eyes.

“Jordan,” she continued, “you are the keeper of those days. Are you making accounts?” The granddaughter nodded. “Good. This – how do you always say it – this ‘crassdoggish’ world will need to know how things were before the Agency, before the quadrants, and most of all, before the WiRE. Promise me you’ll never tap into it, Jaybird.”

“Tilly, you’re my grandma, and you raised me well. I’ll be a Throwback ‘til I die. I’ll stay freeclear and keep peace.” Her grandmother poured more tea in a silent prayer of thanks.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

I have been toying with the idea of this story for a long while, as I ponder our dangerous future and watch kids all but implant cell phones into their brains. The loss of peace has been weighing on me. Then Brenda’s Sunday Whirl Wordle gave me bits and pieces that seemed to string together with a common rhythm to give me that hardest part – an actual beginning. Thanks, Brenda, for the feast of words!

This also appears “in the margins” at Poets United and at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ Open Link Monday, where I am the second-newest toad in the whole danged place. Congrats to LaTonya for joining us; Mary had to bid us adieu because she has so much to accomplish. Mary will be missed, and we will look forward to what LaTonya is up to! Peace, Amy

Peace and War and Pieces of Human Beings on the Ground

Hiroshima met Fat Man
or rather, Fat Man
sat on Hiroshima,
then swallowed it whole,
including civilians.

Japanese neighborhoods
did not understand the
death knell of “the flash.”
they only saw seared bodies
bobbing on river’s surface.

Ancient remedies could not
damage the damage done to
frail Japanese bodies,
some tattooed with the
pattern of a dress or shirt.

Scientists in America had
mixed opinions; some were
happy with their new-found status
as innovators, adventurers
in the heretofore unknown.

Most others signed a petition,
pleading with the government
to not inflict their dragonbaby
on innocents. They wished
they hadn’t been so clever.

Japan was losing the war;
America claimed the bombing
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
saved the lives of 100,000 troops –
men who knew the score.

Every life is precious, has
potential to create. There is
no such thing as a just war,
and no war ever creates peace.
It simply withdraws armaments.

Until the next time.

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For dverse, where host Mary asked for poems about peace. This may be the odd approach, but I stand by it as a pacifist.

Saw the movie “Black Rain.” Very tough and so moving, it makes a case for the end of nuclear weapons, which America still stockpiles. The movie is must for students of WWII… or for anyone who believes that the US had to drop hydrogen bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The indelible effects of our awful weapons destroyed entire cities and put countless civilians through hell.

We wept when the Towers went down. But imagine all of NYC leveled, from the Battery to the Bronx. Or even your own town. Leveled by foreigners who had a new toy and wanted to show their supremacy.

I, too, wept when the Towers collapsed – because I knew that war was imminent, despite Bush’s assurances of diplomacy first. And the cost of the current war to Iraqi and Afghani civilians is higher than our own troops. War is an evil act. Why not try peace? Let the war machine bitch all they want. They could be building housing for the homeless instead. Peace, Amy


Were I granted
life without limits
I would bind hatred,
tangle it in silk threads
all shades of red, gold, green
and send it hurtling
into space, no trace
of meanness left to feel.

I would surround
a golden box of pure love
with small fans
pointed up at
wind turbines
and set it free in
breezes of sweet thoughts
strong enough to
surround the earth and,
if the silk balloon’s helium should fail,
all hatred would drift into space
and be forgotten.

Were I granted
life without limits,
I’d press the edge of
the invisible envelope

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Sunday Scribblings, which asked us to envision “no limits,” and for Three Word Wednesday: Tangle, Shade, and Feel. Also for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday. Well done, good servant of humankind, and good health to you, sir. Peace, Amy

(based on the Prayer of St. Francis)

Make me an instrument of your peace
Make me a vessel of your love
Your walk, my way
Your truth, my life
Your light, my joy
Your breath, my song

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “V.”
The prayer of St. Francis has always intrigued me, because Francis took Jesus’ teachings on giving and acted on them all his life. His is a good example of a life lived in pure love. LOVE is not only for Christians – it’s for all faith paths and for those who don’t believe in a Higher Power… but I wrote this hoping that I, too, will be a vessel of love, at all times and in all places. Peace, Amy

Irony In The Air

Summer’s here, or so it seems.
Shining sun – the stuff of dreams.
Odd Wisconsin irony,
not a trace of snow to see.

Last year, we were steeped in snow,
flannel-clad from head to toe.
Now I wear a sad array
of summer stuff not packed away…

Ensemble matching? No, I fear,
but T-shirt’s message does ring clear:
As war grows on despite our rants,
Lennon’s pic: “Give peace a chance!”

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “I.”

It’s Twofer… Thursday! Three prompts in two poems. Each prompt is listed under the appropriate work. It’s a sunny day, and things are looking up in Amyville! If you want your day to be even better, click on the links for the various poetry sites and look at the astounding work out there in cyberbeautyland! Peace, Amy

Just One Wish

If I could have just one wish…

I’d melt all weapons, from
handguns to tanks

Forge farm tools for land to be tilled by
hands that formerly pushbuttonlaunched drones
Hands that flew off wrists as Hummer hit IED.

Honest work for real pay,
homes for all, bellies full.
The sick tended,
violence ended,
people defended
by reason, not rockets.

By wisdom, not war.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Carry On Tuesday, prompt: Finish this poem, “If I had just one wish…”

And now… sidetracking into true ignorance!


“Deviant” is a concept
born of miniscule minds
and religious cherry-pickers
who have bad translations of the Bible.

They dwell on the trivial
while ignoring real problems
which require substantial effort…
and that are apparently not their concern.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Three Word Wednesday (Deviant, Miniscule, Trivial) and ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “H.”

Both are also at my poetic hangout, Poets United.